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Detailed record for Harley 3775

Part 1 ff. 1-14v 
Author Benedict of St Alban
Title Life of Thomas Becket , in Anglo-Norman verse, followed by an Anglo-Norman crusade noted song ‘S’onques nus hom pour dure’ (ff. 14-14v); Anglo-Norman romance Guy of Warwick (ff. 15-26)
Origin England
Date 2nd half of the 13th or 1st quarter of the 14th century
Language French
Script Gothic, written below top line
Decoration Large initial in blue with pen-work decoration in red (f. 1). Initials in red and blue. Musical notation on 4-line staves (f. 14).
Dimensions in mm 250 x 155 (210 x 100)
 
Part 2 ff. 34-73 
Title Chronicle, AD 1-1135 (ff. 34-61), with additions up to 1266 (ff. 61v-73)
Origin England, Central (Coventry ?)
Date 2nd quarter or 3rd quarter of the 12th century, with additions up to 1266
Language Latin
Script Protogothic
Decoration Large initial with foliate decoration in yellow and green (f. 34). Rubrics in red and blue. Number of the year in Roman numerals in red. Initials in red and green.
Dimensions in mm 250 x 160 (190/195 x 130)
 
Official foliation ff. 178 (+ 6 unfoliated modern paper flyleaves at the beginning and 4 at the end).
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Rebound in 1964. Covers and spine of 17th-century (?) binding of red leather pasted onto the modern pastedowns and first flyleaf.
Provenance The chronicle includes many entries relating to Coventry, which suggests it as the possible place of origin of the manuscript. A chronicle, AD 1-1181, sharing a similar source is in Cotton Tiberius E. IV (ff. 1-27v), from Winchcombe Abbey.
The Benedictine abbey of St Albans (ff. 100-139; see Ker 1964, Wright 1972).
Lord William Howard (b. 1563, d. 1640), antiquary and landowner, of Naworth Castle, Cumberland, the younger son of Thomas Howard (b. 1538, d. 1572), 4th duke of Norfolk: title inscribed in his hand (f. 74), possibly his manuscript no. 50 (see Bernard 1697).
? Charles Howard (b. 1669, d. 1738), 3rd earl of Carlisle, politician and landowner: possibly his manuscript no. 50 (see Bernard 1697).
John Warburton (b. 1682, d. 1759), of Bury, county Lancashire, antiquary and herald, Somerset Herald in 1720: acquired from him by Edward Harley in 1720 (see Wright and Wright 1966; Wright 1972).
The Harley Collection, formed by Robert Harley (b. 1661, d. 1724), 1st earl of Oxford and Mortimer, politician, and Edward Harley (b. 1689, d. 1741), 2nd earl of Oxford and Mortimer, book collector and patron of the arts, inscribed as usual by their librarian, Humfrey Wanley, ‘16 Julij, 1720’ (f. vi).
Edward Harley bequeathed the library to his widow, Henrietta Cavendish, née Holles (b. 1694, d. 1755) during her lifetime and thereafter to their daughter, Margaret Cavendish Bentinck (b. 1715, d. 1785), duchess of Portland; the manuscripts were sold by the Countess and the Duchess in 1753 to the nation for £10,000 (a fraction of their contemporary value) under the Act of Parliament that also established the British Museum; the Harley manuscripts form one of the foundation collections of the British Library.
Notes The life of Thomas Becket in verse was composed c. 1184. It is based on one by Robert of Cricklade (d. c. 1174), prior of St. Frideswide's, Oxford, now lost. It can also be found in Add. 59616 (ff. 1-15v), Cotton Vespasian B. XIV (ff. 95v-113), and Cotton Vespasian D. IV (ff. 149-171).
The volume is a composite miscellany formed by manuscripts of different date and origin and includes:
'Gui de Warewic', romance in Anglo-Norman verse, with initials in red, last quarter of the 13th or 1st quarter of the 14th century (ff. 15-26v);
Life of Saint Robert of Knaresborough, prose version attributed to Richard Studley, 15th century (?) (ff. 74-77);
A London chronicle, c. 1429-1430 (ff. 78-99);
St Albans's Annals, datable to 1428-1431 (ff. 100-120);
St Albans's register of burials (ff. 129r–137r);
Genesis in Anglo-Norman verse, fragment, with rubrics and paraphs in red, last quarter of the 13th or 1st quarter of the 14th century (ff. 140-149v);
Geoffrey of Vinsauf, 'Poetria nova', with initials in or highlighted in red, 13th century (ff. 150-178).
A list of contents in Wright and Wright 1966, p. 59.
Musical notation: square notation on four-line red staves (C and B clefs), England, second half of the 13th century (f. 14)
Select bibliography Edward Bernard, Catalogi librorum manuscriptorum Angliae et Hiberniae, 3 vols (Oxford: Sheldonian, 1697), II, 15, no. 660.

A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 3775.

Gui de Warewic, Roman du XIIIe siecle, ed. by Alfred Ewert, 2 vols (Paris: Edouard Champion, 1932), [an edition of the text of Part 1, ff 15-26].

Medieval Libraries of Great Britain: A List of Surviving Books, ed. by Neil R. Ker, 2nd edn, Royal Historical Society Guides and Handbooks, 3 (London: Royal Historical Society, 1964), p. 167.

The Diary of Humfrey Wanley 1715-1726, ed. by C. E. Wright and Ruth C. Wright, 2 vols (London: Bibliographical Society, 1966), I: 1715-1723, p. 59 n. 3.

C. E. Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), pp. 199, 292, 347, 435.

Charles L. Kingsford, English Historical Literature in the Fifteenth Century (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913; repr. New York: Franklin, 1972), pp. 76, 80, 83, 150, 292-95.

Tony Hunt, 'Anecdota Anglo-Normannica', The Yearbook of English Studies, 15, Anglo-French Literary Relations Special Number (1985), 1-17 (pp. 1, 2 n. 5).

Edward Donald Kennedy, XII: Chronicles and Other Historical Writing, A Manual of the Writings in Middle English 1050-1500, 8, ed. by Albert E. Hartung (New Haven: Archon Books, 1989), p. 2845.

Ruth J. Dean and Maureen B.M. Boulton, Anglo-Norman Literature: A Guide to Texts and Manuscripts, Anglo-Norman Text Society, Occasional Publications Series, 3 (London: Anglo-Norman Text Society, 1999), pp. 74 no. 123, 283-84, no. 509.

James G. Clark, 'Thomas Walsingham Reconsidered: Books and Learning at Late-Medieval St. Albans', Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies, 77 (2002), 832-60 (p. 850 n. 116).

Guy of Warwick: Icon and Ancestor, ed. by Alison Wiggins and Rosalind Field, Studies in Medieval Romance (Woodbridge: D.S. Brewer, 2007), pp. 2, n. 3, 16-17, 25.

Alicia Marchant, 'In Loco Amoenissimo: Fifteenth-Century St Albans and the Role of Place in Thomas Walsingham's Description of Wales', Place: An interdisciplinary e-journal, April, 2008, 1-18 (p. 13 n. 83) [http://www.elsewhereonline.com.au/place], accessed 5 May 2009.

Fiona McAlpine, ‘Authenticity and ‘auteur’: the songs of Hugues de Berzé’ in Plainsong and Medieval Music, 4, pp. 13-32


Images

Part  1   ff. 1-14v
Benedict of St Alban Life of Thomas Becket , in Anglo-Norman verse, followed by an Anglo-Norman crusade noted song ‘S’onques nus hom pour dure’ (ff. 14-14v); Anglo-Norman romance Guy of Warwick (ff. 15-26)
* * *
 
Decorated initial

f. 1
Decorated initial
Coloured initial and musical notation

f. 14
Coloured initial and musical notation
Text page

f. 14v
Text page
 
Robert of Knaresborough

f. 74
Robert of Knaresborough

Part  2   ff. 34-73
Chronicle, AD 1-1135 (ff. 34-61), with additions up to 1266 (ff. 61v-73)
* * *
 
Coloured initials

f. 61
Coloured initials
Text page

f. 64
Text page
Text page

f. 107
Text page
 

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